Current Affairs 26th December 2017

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International Affairs Singapore's Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean will join India's External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj for a two-day ASEAN-India Pravasi Bharatiya Divas to be held in Singapore next month. Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari and chief ministers of Andhra Pradesh and Assam, N Chandrababu Naidu and Sarbananda Sonowal, will also attend the function on 6-7 January 2018.  The Pravasi Bharatiya Divas (PBD) is celebrated every year to mark the contribution of overseas Indian community in the development of India.

A book containing selected writings by late journalist Gauri Lankesh was launched at the Mumbai Press Club, three months after she was gunned down. The book, The Way I See It - a Gauri Lankesh Reader, has been edited by writer and sociologist Chandan Gowda. The six sections of the book comprise Lankesh’s early reportage in various publications and selected articles she wrote for the Kannada language Gauri Lankesh Patrike, which she edited.

The Union Minister of State (I/C) of the Ministry of Development of North Eastern Region (DoNER), Dr Jitendra Singh launched the electronic-Human Resource Management System (e-HRMS) in New Delhi. He launched it during the observance of Good Governance Day by the Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions. The Minister launched the 25 applications of 5 modules of the system. The e-service book launched for DoPT during March 2017 will also be integrated into the e-HRMS.

In a great move, Honda Motor is planning to set up a lithium-ion battery manufacturing unit in India with the main aim to move only potential electric vehicles on roads by 2030. Under the global agreement on climate change, the company is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. As per reports, it is involved in building up of electric vehicle strategy for the Indian market.  According to an announcement made by Honda, by 2030, electric cars will comprise 65% of the company’s overall sales. Of that, 15% will be pure electric while the rest will be hybrid, plug-in hybrid and fuel-cell-powered vehicles.

Mumbai got India's first ever AC suburban local train as Christmas gift. The first service of the 12-coach EMU will commence between Borivali and Churchgate. The first and 12th coaches from Churchgate end are earmarked as ladies coaches. This will be the first train with automatic doors in the suburban system. Out of 12 services of AC Local train, 8 will run fast and will only halt at major stations. The services of AC local train will replace existing 12 Non AC services.

India is all set to get its first runway on a ‘sea bridge’, as the Airports Authority of India (AAI) has been given a nod to extend Lakshadweep’s Agatti Airport. The task will be carried out by building an RCC platform on the beach and shallow area which will allow bigger ATRs to operate on the island. The Project is likely to cost about Rs 1,500 crore.

Karnataka's capital city Bengaluru has become the first Indian city to have its own logo after the state government launched it. The logo was designed by a design start-up and uses both English and Kannada alphabets. The red and black logo is part English and part Kannada. With this, Bengaluru joins a select group of global cities like New York City, Melbourne and Singapore to have a tourism logo of its own.

The environment ministry launched a pilot project 'Blue Flag' for its clean-up and development. With the prime objective of enhancing standards of cleanliness, upkeep and basic amenities at beaches. The 'Blue Flag' is a certification by the Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE) that a beach, Marina or sustainable boating tourism operator, meets its stringent standards.  

The Uttar Pradesh government signedan MoU with South Korea to enhance cooperation in the field of tourism, skill development, culture and farming. An agreement was signed in 2000 to develop Ayodhya and Gimhae as sister cities, following which a memorial was constructed in Ayodhya which is visited by a large number of tourists from South Korea every year.

The world’s longest glass bridge opened in China to the public. Though it has a capacity to hold 2000 people, only 500 would be allowed at a time. It is Located in Shijiazhuang, the magnificent bridge lies 218 meters above hanging between the two cliffs in Hongyagu Scenic Area in Pingshan county. The bridge is 488 meters long and two meters wide, with two dragon statues on top that could produce smoke. Another 430 meters long and 6 meters wide bridge was opened last year in the Grand Canyon Scenic Area in Zhangjiajie, China.